It's Not About The Money

He uses words like spic, nigger, faggot, chink  to describe those simply different than him, people of whom he is afraid.  We don’t use those words at our house because it just doesn’t matter; I tell my kids that I would really like an Asian grand-baby, as well has a pretty dark-haired, dark-eyed Mexican one, since I never had the opportunity to have one of my own.  When Sam was little and would play dress-up with his big sister’s clothes, he would say, “Get that off, are you a faggot or something?”  At home, with us, we say we will love him no matter what or who he is, we just want him to be happy.

Sam is the one devout believer in the household besides myself, praying every night before bed and constantly asking God for blessings upon people.  People he knows, others he doesn’t.  When his little friend Isaiah drowned not long ago, Sam’s primary concern was whether or not Isaiah was in heaven, and could we please call his mom to tell her how very, very sorry he was?  He tells him that God is dead, or that God only watches out for people who go to church every Sunday.  At home, we say that God just loves everyone, that even those most lost and hopeless are loved by God, that everyone gets a chance to get into heaven.  Because God loves all of us, no matter what-just like mommies and daddies do.

He left when Sam was three, still a baby in so many ways.  Even before that, though, he was  gone, chasing the drugs and the women and the life he thought he deserved, with no encumbrances such as a wife and a child.  That hurt; it hurt a lot.  I won’t lie and say that this didn’t damage all of us in ways too many to detail here.  But I dealt with it, we all did, and gave him every opportunity to maintain a relationship with his son.  With the other kids, too, so far as they wanted one, and for a long while they did.  So he would call sometimes and want to come see them, and I would let him, and this would happen pretty regularly for a month or six weeks, and then he would disappear.  I would hear things about him from different people, I would kind of have an idea of his general area, but never really know for sure until he called again.  Sometimes a couple of weeks later, more often a couple of months, but he would always call and proclaim that this time he had changed.  He Saw the Light and realized how much he was throwing away, and could he please have another chance.  So we would start slow again, with some supervised visits and phone calls, and things would roll along pretty smoothly for awhile until he went off on a runner again, and then poof, gone again.  Still, I always gave him the benefit of the doubt, always let him come back and have another go at it-because it is so important for Sam to have his father in his life.  All of this before the divorce was even final; all through the year he spent in county jail, through the nasty, hateful letters sent to me, the nights where he would bang on my door and call me a fucking cunt and threaten to kill me or kidnap his son, I still let him see him.  Through the two weeks when an undercover police car was parked in front of my house for our protection because the Drug Dudes had made threats to us in hopes of motivating him to pay up, I still let him talk to his boy on the phone-because I believed it was important for Sam.

I knew what and who he was, and I tried to keep that from Sam because he IS his dad.  When he would drive by our house on the way to his new girlfriend’s house, he would wave and keep driving-and every time Sam would see him, he would get all excited thinking that this time his dad would stop.  The first time I allowed him to take overnight, he took him not to his house but to the house of his then-girlfriend, refuse to answer the telephone, and was three hours late in dropping him off-a direct defiance of my conditions for taking him.  So we started back from the beginning, with supervised visits graduating to short outings to another overnight; this time at my house, while I want out of town.  That time, he brought his then-girlfriend TO my house, fucked her on my couch while watching a porn movie; by this time Sam was 6, and had seen it all.  A year later, after having no contact, he showed up again, and it all started over again.  The last straw that time was when he told Sam, “I will be here next weekend for your birthday, and I already have your present, and your mom said we (by this time he was with his now-wife, though not yet married) could come to the party and have dinner with you.”  Very specific, as opposed to “I’ll see you soon,” and guess what?  He never showed up.  Never called, until two months later he called out of the blue and said, “I will be there to take Sam for the weekend,” and I said, “The hell you will; if you can’t be a stable, active part of his life, then you can’t see him.  I am done.”  He called me some choice names and hung up on me, and that is the last we have heard from him until he ran into Steve last weekend. 

So you see, it isn’t about the money.  Hell, Hannah and Eli’s dad hasn’t paid child support in over two years, and next month Eli is going to see him for a month over  the summer break; Hannah chose not to go this time, but the offer was there.  He calls them, he keeps abreast of their school stuff, and so hey-he isn’t perfect, we disagree, sometimes I think he is a real chump, but it isn’t about ME.  He loves his kids, and has tried to keep a relationship with them, and has integrated his wife into their lives, and that is what it’s all about.  If I could choose, obviously I would prefer both-child support and active involvement-but sometimes it doesn’t work that way and as long as they are loving on my kids, I don’t have to like them. 

However, with Sam’s dad, his pattern of not just irresponsibility but downright cruelty toward his son-from deliberately undermining the things we try to teach him to driving by and waving and telling him he will be there but not showing up-goes far, far beyond lack of child support.  The parenting class I had to take in order to have the divorce decree signed (ah, the irony) went over and over again about how financial support, even above and beyond the court-ordered support amount-is just as crucial to a child’s well-being as an active role in parenting, and to a point I believe that.  However, if I had to choose between one and the other, I would take a father’s presence over the money any day, hands down.  In this case, we have neither.

On top of the lack of child support there is the fact that in the last three years, I have had $12,000 taken from my bank accounts and my paychecks in order to pay for bills he was ordered to pay; that does not include the thousands of dollars I spent getting my divorce that he was also court-ordered to pay for, or the “small” bills that I have had to pay of his.  Those small bills continue, and more and more of them show up weekly.  I can either pay them myself or have them garnished, either way I have to pay them, and will probably continue to do so for the next year until the Statute of Limitations is up.  So not only is he not paying child support, but his actions have caused extreme harm not just to his son but my entire family; being hungry hurts.  Going to school in too-small clothes hurts.  Being made fun of because your mom is poor and your dad is whatever he is, hurts. 

If he really wants to see his son, he will begin to prove to me that he is capable of being an honest, reliable, responsible person, one worthy of being around Sam.  Calling me a bitch and saying he just doesn’t want to deal with me-in public, to my partner and anyone else within hearing-is not something a normal, responsible person would do.  Having The Wife call my house in order to attempt to fix his problems is likewise not a responsible behavior.  And since I am not willing to throw Sam under the bus in order to let him prove he is responsible, the only real way he can start doing that is to begin to be financially responsible.  And I know that if he really, really wanted to be part of his son’s life, if his son’s well-being is at all a concern for him, he will do that.  He will take two jobs if he has to in order to make an attempt to pay what he is court ordered to pay, and he will call every fucking week and tell me how much he has changed and he is doing X, Y, and Z  to prove that to me and IF he can do that?  I will stand up and open my door and let him in.

And you?  You know I am writing this post for you.  This is the last time I will offer you any kind of an explanation for anything I write, and I will, as I said in yesterday’s comment, happily publish any and all deliberately antagonistic comments you post.  I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, on this issue or any other I might choose to write about.  However, there is a way to respectfully disagree, and being passive-aggressive about it is not at all respectful, nor is reading just for the sake of waiting for something to pounce on.  I think you believe that you are hurting me, and maybe in some ways you are-but as I told you before, you are, I think, burning a bridge that you will come to regret burning; the only person you are hurting is yourself.  I have never stopped caring about you, even now.  I still pray for you and am worried about you and hope that things in your life take off and help you soar. 

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22 thoughts on “It's Not About The Money

  1. I don’t think I’ve mentioned in a while how much gratitude I still owe you for all that you did to help me through dealing with the girls’ dad, for many of the same reasons. I love you. I’m sorry you and Sam have to go through this shit.

    • Oh, sweetie, you don’t need to be grateful. Bowing down and kissing my feet would help, but really… ha ha, you know I love you. And we are just both on the same path at different times.

  2. Hey, hey Kori. It’s been a while, I didn’t know you had moved over here. I like the new look!

    So, you were married to this asswipe? That must have been a walk in the park, huh?

    I’m sorry that you and your little boy had to deal with so much BS from this person. He seems like an utter waste of oxygen.
    .-= Lady Lemon´s last blog ..I’m Jello, Baby =-.

  3. I am so angry for you! I just realized that I was clenching my fists as I read your post. I’m angry at whoever “he” is, I’m angry at whoever is leaving you mean comments, and I am SO angry at whatever state you live in that has left you with the responsibility of paying “his” bills!! That’s ridiculous! I feel that there must be a way out of all of that, but I’m sure you’ve already looked into every available option… it’s just so frustrating to think that you just have to wait it out. Hang in there, I’m sure better things are waiting for you up ahead.
    .-= Tranquility´s last blog ..The Grand Coulee Dam =-.

  4. Kori, you are remarkable for exhibiting love for those who persecute you, for praying for the self-righteous, judgmental individual who has nothing better to do than make bitter, cutting remarks about the way you live your honest and respectable life.

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… you are a phenomenal mother, and those kids are lucky to have you. The WORLD is lucky to have you.

    Love you!
    .-= Julie´s last blog ..Rant & Rave Wednesday =-.

  5. I’m just going to say this right out- I think it would be the very most wrong thing to let this man be part of your son’s life in any way. I don’t care if he did donate the sperm that helped make him- that doesn’t make him a father in any sense of the word in my book.
    Stick by your guns. Your boy is better off (WAY better off) without him.
    .-= Ms. Moon´s last blog ..Why We Are Fat =-.

  6. The system that forces you to pay this man’s bills is so wrong. That you have to put up with all of this AND have trolls give you hell is unbelievable. Every divorce and every parent/child relationship is different and unique. A blanket statement that parents have a RIGHT to interact with their child just because they donated some DNA is wrong too.

  7. wow. It sucks that you have to do damage control like that. I’m not big on protecting parental rights if the parent is a detriment to the child. Which certainly sounds like the case here. He needs to prove that he deserves a relationship with the child, and the first step to that is by respecting the mother.

  8. I went back and read the comments on the other post, and I don’t know if that is the person you directed this post to, but I back you on it 100%. I would take total visitation rights away from my ex-asshole in a heartbeat if I could because I see the damage he’s doing, his own family has spoken to me about it, and yet because some judge valued possessive behavior with fatherly love, I’m forced to deal with him on a semi regular basis. And also the aftermath when he sends the home.

    The kicker was last year, when bills started to arrive in MY MAIDEN NAME, ranging anywhere from $20 to $4000. Bills I have spent hours, days, weeks on the phone with creditors over, trying to clear my name and credit report. It’s not like my student loans and medical bills were enough, he felt the need to add to it.

    OK, so this is one of your posts guaranteed to send me off my rocker so I’m just going to go back to my corner and shut up.

    P.S. Don’t ever feel you have to defend your parenting position to anyone. You are better than you know, and never need to stoop to someone else’s level.
    .-= JT´s last blog ..Day something or the other of dream hell/heaven =-.

  9. Wow. I knew it wasn’t really about money with your situation, but watching porn and having sex in front of a six-year-old?!! That is unforgivable! You have every right to block that pervert out of Sam’s life. I feel so very sorry for Sam that he doesn’t get to have a father, but that is the ex’s choice and not yours. I hope to God he never spawns any more kids to trash their lives as well. It doesn’t sound like his new wife would do much to protect them.

    As for the whole paying his bills thing, you already know that disgusts me. I just hope karma takes a great big bite out of his ass for that one.
    .-= FreedomFirst´s last blog ..Waiting =-.

  10. I only just found your blog, but this is one of the most honest, clear, and profound posts that I’ve read anywhere. You are amazing and your writing is very powerful.

  11. It made me cry…This sucks! My oldest daughters father is not around, never has been, doesn’t pay child support and its never been about that. She’s always known about him, always wanted to know him and I’ve tried – over and over again. I fail and it sucks and it hurts and it sucks even more when she looks me in the eyes and says he doesn’t call or visit because “I broke up with him”. I know…she’s only 7 but it sucks because his actions suck and I – I am here to pick up the pieces. I’m so sorry for all the crap you go thru – I feel your pain.
    ~K

    • @Kel, Sam went through that, too, the blaming ME. I think it is worse now that he blames himself. At one point about midway through this ordeal, my attorney gave me the right words; she said, “Isn’t it time you stopped trying to parent him?” And that helped, a lot.

  12. All of that makes me so sad for Sam. I look at L and think about how kids look up to their parents, even the kids I know whose parent (one or the other) are less than desirable, and I think what a fucking assbag your ex must be to drive by and wave at Sam but not even stop? And to think of how that would just break my heart over and over to see the hope squashed and my little boys heart shattered time and time again by him not taking so much as a minute to stop and say hi (being the LEAST he could do as he drove by)…That part really made me cry.

    I am with those who say that you are absolutely doing the right thing in protecting Sam in the way that you are. I would even go so far as to agree with Ms. Moon that Sam is MUCH better off without him in his life AT. ALL. PERIOD. But at the same time I get why you feel the need to continue to give him yet another chance to prove himself worthy.

    Okay, and then I had this paragraph typed out directed at the person whose comments solicited your response in the first place, but decided that honestly, that person is not worthy of any more of your time, my time or any other of your readers’ time…I will just say this – SERIOUSLY, if you disagree so much, or think Kori is stupid or WHATEVER, why bother reading? There must really be something better to do with your time than continue to follow her blog and leave shitty comments…

    (((hugs))) Kori.
    .-= Justme´s last blog ..Happy Anniversary to W and I… =-.

  13. Kori, you just have this AMAZING way with words. You get things across in a way I feel like I couldn’t. You are able to define parts of yourself so clearly it’s almost like looking directly into your heart, and I absolutely love it. You rock. You show the most amazing & pure love for your kids, I don’t know how anyone could ever fault you for it.
    .-= Rachael´s last blog ..SYTYCD Top 16: Performance & Elimination Recap =-.

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